Saturday, May 01, 2004

More Salmon

While the efforts to preserve Pacific salmon have been hampered by the Federal govenment's insanity, Washington is picking up the ball somewhat. At least there's a plan for the Columbia River.

The state's plan would redistribute existing water rights to provide more water for irrigators, municipalities and fish, Fitzsimmons said. The plan calls for the creation of a regional water bank, more conservation measures for irrigation and additional water storage. He said he doesn't know how much it would cost, other than saying it will be "affordable."

The plan would not draw additional water out of the river and instead seeks to put "one bucket" of water for fish back into the river system for every "two buckets" taken out, Fitzsimmons said.

Dear George Nethercutt,

140 US soldiers died in April. Is that more important than some school openings? If not, at what point will dead Americans start to count in your mind?

All My Love,

Carl Ballard

Friday, April 30, 2004

County and LD Conventions

They are coming up soon. I'm a Clark supporting Dean alternate. I don't know if it's worth my time to go or not. I could do another fun convention report. I could try to take the place of someone. I haven't talked to the people I'm an alternate for. Probably I'd just wake up early on the weekend to not do anything.

A King County Task Force says King County Elections OK

I didn't realize that there even was a task force. I also don't know if these were unanimous or if there were descents. But here's what they decided.

According to Matheson, key recommendations from the citizens' committee include:

* There's no need to change the management structure, in which the superintendent of elections reports to the division manager, who in turn answers to the executive's office. Both positions are confirmed by the County Council.

* County officials should ensure the elections section has enough resources to run a ``proper election,'' according to Matheson. Right now, he said, ``that's questionable.'' Elections are a ``core function of government,'' he said, and should be funded adequately. Elections managers, he said, will decide what's adequate.

* The county should consider consolidating its two elections facilities at one site.

* Top managers should look at staff training for full-time and seasonal workers.

* Periodic oversight should continue by a committee, an independent consultant or the Secretary of State.

Tent City 4

It breaks your heart. The new homeless camp will go up next to Bothell.

County Executive Ron Sims said yesterday he has agreed to let a new tent city use county-owned land beside the Brickyard Road Park-and-Ride for up to 90 days.

The first of what may be 100 campers will move Thursday onto the property at 15530 Juanita-Woodinville Way N.E. in unincorporated King County.

Sims expressed mixed feelings about the venture, saying he is "personally opposed to the concept of a nomadic existence for the homeless. I prefer permanent solutions."


King County Councilwoman Carolyn Edmonds, whose district includes the temporary encampment site, said she will sponsor the motion.

"We've never had any problems with the residents of Tent City," Edmonds said. "They're self-policing, there are stringent rules, they are only adults. Most are the working poor who need a little break to save up money to get into something more permanent."

Who Needs Wild Salmon?

The Bush administration has decided that farmed salmon count as wild salmon for counting in the endangered species act. And while this does piss me off I think I can understand it. Here we have a man raised in Connecticut who's toughest job prior to the current white house gig was co-owner of the Texas Rangers, but considers himself a genuine cowboy. Of course he considers fish that grow up in pens wild.

Thursday, April 29, 2004


I remember playing little league baseball in Magnuson Park many years ago. It seems like a no brainer. More fields more night games. Apparently that's controversial.

Talmage is ailing - may leave race

From this week's s Seattle Weekly:

"Former state Supreme Court Justice and current Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Talmadge . . . [has] been seriously ill. Last week, . . . Talmadge felt light-headed and passed out “with a great deal of show,” he says. Taken to the hospital, Talmadge was informed he had blood in his abdomen, caused by a nonmalignant tumor on his kidney. The condition is not life threatening, says Talmadge, but he has to take it easy in the short term. Hopefully, the tumor will shrink on its own, but if not, surgery will be necessary to remove it. The recovery could take up to six weeks. Talmadge is considering ending his self-described “long shot” campaign for governor. “We’ll be making a decision in the next few days,” he says."


Can you say Governor Gregoire?

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


The Legislature's move to allow state workers to bargain for higher pay has prompted the biggest boom in state-employee-union organizing in decades, state and union officials say.

The Washington Federation of State Employees, the largest of the state-employee unions, has grown more than 20 percent since 2002.

After three years of frozen wages and increasing health-care costs, employees are joining unions in hopes that increased clout will mean a better deal come July 1, 2005, when the law passed two years ago mandates a new contract.

God Bless Jim McDermott

He said the pledge of allegiance on the floor of the house but omitted "under God." It's a silly thing that people are worked up about it. But I think it's the way to go. Mistake or not.

Barbara Hedges Redux

I happened to catch yesterdays' presentation by Acting UWPresident Lee Huntsman about the ongoing list of horrors at the UW Athletic Department. Although the language of their defense was reasonable, I was struck by the nastiness of the overall tone. I expected something a little more professional.

However, two points keep bothering me:

(1) If the UW gave Newheisel a formal interpretation of the NCAA betting pool regulation in advance of his little crime, then complied with established UW policy. No amount of sneeringly calling him "Neuheisel" changes this fundamental fact.

(2) If the UW fired Dr. Feelgood Scheyer and then Barbara Hedges hired him back, there was very little that Coach Wilson could have done to get rid of him. No amount of treating her as a bull dyke changes this fundamental fact.

Does it occur to anyone (besides me) that UW athletics has become far too big for everyone's good?

Monday, April 26, 2004

Open Thread

The slow down continues. I'm out for a few days (maybe Wednesday night, probably later). Brenda may or may not delight you in the mean time. And either way, you can say something that literally a dozen or so people will see. Just keep it under 1000 characters.

Even if a lot is his own Money

In the 5th Donald Barbieri raised more money than all three Republicans combined. Now the question is if they'll spend their money battling each other or not. Either way, it's looking nice.

Barbieri has raised $621,000 so far, The Spokesman-Review reported Sunday, citing federal election records. All four candidates have raised a total of more than $1 million in the scramble for the open Fifth District seat in Congress.

Barbieri, a former hotel executive, has received more than $105,000 from political action committees -- far above the three Republicans' total of about $6,000 from PACs.

He received $10,000 -- the federal limit -- from each of two PACs sponsored by leading House Democrats Nancy Pelosi of California and Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

Barbieri has put more than $311,000 of his own money into the campaign as part of a decision to match contributions, records show. Those contributions cannot be repaid by fund-raising later.

But how Hard Will he Work?

Gary Locke held a press conference a few days ago. He's staked out his position on the Eyman initiatives (opposed) and the Education initiative (supports, duh). He hasn't worked too hard on any other initiatives since I-200, so I'd like to see if he actually handles these. Specifically I hope he comes to play on the education initiative. It would be a nice end to an otherwise fairly bland term as governor.


Big Boeing deal. It's worth about $6 billion total for it's first orders of 7E7s. They will be finished in Everett, and that's huge. It's still up in the air how much the parts will be built in the Puget Sound region, and how much elsewhere.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Even Vance is Openly Worried

Even a mild Democratic tide in the state could sweep one or more of the Democratic newcomers into Congress, says consultant Terry Thompson. Berendt even allows himself to dream of a repeat of 1992, when Democrats won all but one House seat, Dunn's.

Even the Republicans' relentlessly optimistic chairman, Chris Vance, concedes it's no slam dunk to keep the current 6-3 makeup of the House delegation.

"The hardest thing in American politics is beating an incumbent member of Congress," Vance says. (He should know. He tried, and lost, in the 9th District himself.)

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